Well I am kind of at a loss of words right now of what exactly to say. I actually have a lot of time to email since not very many others have emailed. Guess first off is to address your email, and then I can try to share more from my week of happenings.
So I didn't know JD was actually going out. I knew he had been preparing and getting ready. I in all honesty don't even remember what call he got and where he is going. Well back now. So from Mom's email I now know that JD is going to Tennessee. He will be a good missionary and will be blessed with many cherished experiences.
Thanks for passing along the responses from several close friends. Truly I have been blessed so much with such wonderful people and examples to help and guide me. I definitely could not have arrived at the level I am at now without the Lord's hand in my life as he brought these spiritual giants to lift me up, to heal my wounds, and to stand by me when I was weak. I will forever be indebted to what they have done for me and how much they have helped to change my life for the better.
That is very touching what Bishop Wood said. I definitely miss being able to talk or even just see all these great people. But it is a small price to pay when the rewards gained are eternal not just for me, but those who are around me from fellow missionaries to the people of Taiwan.
Definitely for sure Cody, Pat, Kevin, and I will be doing initiatories together. :D But the sad thing is I don't know what their plans for college are. I know Kevin will be at BYU. So I will try and room with him when he comes back. But Cody it sounds like may not be down in the Utah Valley. I would be very sad :( I don't know. I really hope things will work out for the best, really hope that we will still be close to each other after we are all back.
Yes I have been praying for you and your new assignment with Netapp. I feel confident in you though that you will be completely fine. One of the many blessings I have seen come from my mission is how much my praying has developed. I honestly am astounded at how quick and sometimes shallow my praying before my mission would be. But now I seem to not be able to stop as I have so much to thank the Lord for and so much of the Lord's strength and hands not just in my life but in the lives of those around me. I end up praying anywhere from 5-10 minutes each night as I have so much to share and so much realization of how I can't do this work just by myself.
So this past week has been a buildup of things. Elder Chan left yesterday for Taizhong and is leaving today for England. They are keeping us a 4-man, that Elder Ng's new companion is......Elder Palmer. Elder Palmer was companions with the same Elder Chen I was companions with. So we will be having a ton of fun! I am so excited I am still with Elder Mudrow for now and that we still have the 4-man apartment.
It's sad to see Elder Chan go though. It was a ton of fun having an English Chap around. But all good things must come to an end.
I feel that out of Elder Mudrow's and mine past week our greatest achievement and success came from meeting with an investigator. He had been out of town for all of Chinese New Year and didn't come back until last week. We met with him last week and we found that he had drank coffee and tea over Chinese New Year. We could tell in lesson he wasn't his normal self and off a little bit. We went over repentance. But still upon leaving that lesson he just seemed off. We met again with him on Saturday and such a powerful and Spirit filled lesson. We planned on sharing and reviewing the Plan of Salvation with him. And we did just this focusing on the Savior and His sacrifice. We came to discover and understand that he was feeling really nervous and scared about baptism and afterwards of being perfect. This was a blessing to me as I had a touching opportunity to share with him about my own life, going home from the MTC and working to come back out, and especially the knowledge and understanding I have come to gain that no one is perfect and will not attain that in this life. It helped to lift burdens so much for him and afterwards Elder Mudrow commented on how powerful and how much the Spirit was there in that lesson and that he said definitely you were called here to help this man and to essentially crack his shell. He has been an investigator for a while (I think a year or more). That touched me for Elder Mudrow to say that. But so we met with him again yesterday and have set his new baptismal goal for March 8th. I really feel that he is ready and can achieve this goal. We helped to clarify his concerns about the importance of baptism and he has that desire there not because of us but because of the plan of salvation and celestial kingdom.
I certainly pray and hope that our hard work that Elder Mudrow and I put in will help to bless others. I have come more and more to the feeling and understanding that sometimes I just don't really care if I am blessed or benefited. I just care more that others will be benefited and blessed. I wish and pray so badly that they come to feel what I have felt. I pray that they will seek to understand and know the truth. But this past week was a very effective week for us. We hit all of the mission standards set by President and have a drive to go out and smash what we set this past week. We ended up having a total of 30 lessons this past week. It's crazy the differences throughout the whole world. Elder Ellison mentioned how that there Area Presidency has received revelation that each companionship each week should baptize and have 50-60 lessons in a week. That seems like heaven sent manna to me if I could achieve having that much missionary work. For us in Taiwan President Blickenstaff has felt impressed that we can get 20 lessons a week and a baptism a month. Definitely an interesting world we live in.
So I don't know if I ever shared about another investigator. He has come to be such a good friend. And he was none other than through English class. This was back my first week here in 嘉義. He attended and marked that he would like to learn more and meet with missionaries. So we began meeting with him. He had attended a baptismal service, has come to church several times, and we have taught him through the Plan of Salvation. Elder Mudrow and I have such good laughs with him and is so great teaching him. When we were teaching the Plan of Salvation he expressed that he believes what we have taught him. It made me so happy and so excited. The only bummer part is that he got work up in 桃園 up by 台北. He started this past week and deals a lot with testing power and other things. He said it is way interesting and fun because a lot of his coworkers are Philipino, so he is having to use English more and more, so he can improve it too. He keeps his Book of Mormon by him at work so when he gets chances he will read from it. We knew he would be going up to 桃園 and would occasionally on weekends come back to 嘉義. So we had been preparing and getting ready to hand him off. To our discovery he had on his own went online to the lds.org website and found where the church was located where he was going. But so we called him this last Friday to see how he was and see if the missionaries had talked with him. He had gone to English class, but we found that he was coming back down this past weekend to get some stuff and to our joy said he was coming to attend at our church this Sunday. We didn't get time to sit down with him afterwards, but we gave him a Gospel pamphlet to read as he would ride the train back north. I pray for him and hope that he continues to progress and come to baptism and enduring to the end. We will hopefully get to see him occasionally when he comes back down. But he was so happy and having such a good time when he attended church yesterday and I can see how much what we have shared with him has blessed his life. I feel the biggest trial for him will come when the missionaries will share with him about the Word of Wisdom. His faith though and conversion have already begun to be set and I feel that he will easily accept it and strive to be obedient.
Well this is just some from the recent happenings. Sorry it doesn't seem like there is much. Sometimes I build off of what you share to help to formulate my own thoughts. I love you so much!